Florence, the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, became the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in North Carolina history, coming ashore in September 2018 and causing extensive damage, mainly due to flooding. “The damage was widespread and severe,” said Bro. Roy Barnhill, secretary of the North Carolina district of the UPCI. “Many businesses are shut down for months due to repairs, and saints as well as some bi-vocational pastors are unemployed as a result. Many saints also had major water damage which will require extensive repair.”
Many cities had major flooding that affected churches as well as the homes of many members. “Our churches as well as saints have been greatly impacted,” said Bro. Floyd Morris, pastor in Wilmington, N.C. “Pastor Jerry Stroh in Washington, North Carolina had nine inches of water in his home, The Pentecostals of Wilmington & Burgaw together have three families displaced that lost their homes due to damage and flooding, and First UPC of Jacksonville is displaced due to flooding and has started the muck-out process. The list of affected churches goes on and on, and only time will tell the extent of all the damage.”
The response has been overwhelming and people are working together to rebuild, with neighbor helping neighbor to get back on their feet again. Reach Out America, Feed the Children and National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) have been a great blessing to the area, providing food as well as relief supplies. A special thanks to Reach Out America for sending in around 10 trucks of much-needed relief supplies to help the churches and communities. “The needs right now are first, prayer for our communities that have lost so much,” said Bro. Morris. “Several did not have flood insurance due to not being in a flood zone. Second, funding and donations are needed for rebuilding and recouping loss. Gift cards would be helpful as well for those who have been displaced until they are back in permanent housing.”
Donations or relief items may be sent directly to the NC District – marked as Hurricane Relief NC District, Secretary Roy Barnhill, P.O. Box 3226, Lumberton, NC 28359. You may also send gift cards, donations or other relief items to any of the churches in the North Carolina district.